30 April 2019 – Side event IPBES – Introduction to the GBS – a tool to assess the biodiversity footprint of businesses and financial assets

Can one metric sum up the biodiversity impact of economic activities? Can businesses set quantitative targets to reduce their impact on biodiversity as they do for climate (e.g. -20% biodiversity footprint by 2030)? How can financial institutions (FIs) assess their exposure to biodiversity impacts throughout their investment?


CDC Biodiversité is developing a biodiversity footprint assessment tool, the Global Biodiversity Score (GBS), which seeks to address these questions and make it possible to audit entire companies or financial assets to evaluate their impact on biodiversity.

The GBS is developed with about 10 FIs and 20 non-financial businesses, benefiting from extensive road-testing. CDC Biodiversité collaborates with other leading stakeholders in the field of biodiversity footprinting to develop a biodiversity equivalent to the GHG Protocol. One of the first result of this collaboration is the Common ground in biodiversity footprint methodologies for the financial sector (2018) published together with 3 European FIs (Platform for Biodiversity Accounting for Financials or PBAF), and which establishes common concepts and methodological steps to assess biodiversity footprint.

CDC Biodiversité invited interested businesses to a meeting to present the GBS and the PBAF’s common ground on Tuesday 30/04 in the Caisse des Dépôts’ premises, 15 Quai Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France.

Agenda of the meeting:

  • 9:00 – Welcome coffee
  • 9:30 – Introduction to the Global Biodiversity Score
    • Context and overview
    • The MSA metric
    • General overview of the GBS
    • Frequently asked questions
    • A stepwise approach to use the best data available
      • Default approach: assessing footprint with limited data
      • Refined approach: using land use changes and carbon footprint to refine the assessment
    • The B4B+ Club
  • 10:15 – Case studies – application of the GBS
    • Comparison of supply options for Solvay
    • Footprint of a listed equity portfolio for BNP Paribas Asset Management
  • 10:45 – Coffee break
  • 11:15 –  Towards a common standard for biodiversity footprint – work with ASN Bank, ACTIAM and Finance in Motion
  • 11:45 – Q&A
  • 12:00 – End

Presentation and related publications:

  • Introduction to the GBS – a tool to assess the biodiversity footprint of businesses and financial assets. Download.
  • Global Biodiversity Score: a tool to establish and measure corporate and financial commitments for biodiversity – 2018 technical update. Report describing the Global Biodiversity Score (GBS) publication at the end of 2018 (methodology under development until 2020). The GBS is a tool to assess the biodiversity footprint of businesses and financial institutions. Download.
  • Global Biodiversity Score: measuring a company’s biodiversity footprint: Report describing the Global Biodiversity Score (GBS) publication as of November 2017, in particular its « crop commodity tool » to assess the footprint of crops. Download.
  • Common ground in biodiversity footprint methodologies for the financial sector – CDC Biodiversité, ASN bank, ACTIAM, Finance in Motion: Working paper to move towards a common standard for biodiversity footprint for financial institutions; also relevant for non-financial businesses as most of the concepts and methodological steps are similar. Download.
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